Animation Runner Kuromi 2

Animation Seisaku Shinkou Kuromi-chan: Nihon no Anime wa Watashi ga Tsukuru! 2
Also Known As: Animation Runner Kuromi 2: I Make Japanese Animation!, Kuromi 2
Genre: Comedy
Format: 1 OVA
Allegiance: Yumeta Company
Director: Daichi Akitarou
Vintage: 2004
Intelligence Agency Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen
Three months have passed at Studio Petit, and Oguro Mikiko has whipped her staff into fine shape. Good thing too, because since the cancellation of “Time Journeys,” Studio Petit has taken on the task of animating three shows simultaneously! Even the best staff would have difficulties with this task, and despite Kuromi’s hard work, Studio Petit’s key animators are behind schedule. Seeing this, the President of Studio Petit has hired Takashimadaira Rei, a veteran producer famous for completing rush jobs on time. However, Takashimadaira’s secret to success is to sacrifice quality for quantity, something that gets on the nerves of an already edgy Shihonmatsu. Can Kuromi keep the peace, finish the three titles on time, and still maintain the studio’s integrity?

Field Agent Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen
Overall 8.75
(not an average)

Sequels generally lack the creativity and charm of their predecessors; they’re often created to further cash flow in an already established market. However, Animation Runner Kuromi 2 contains all the charm of the original Animation Runner Kuromi and despite not being quite as funny, improves upon it by inserting some character development and interaction.

The plot is still the same as ever; it’s just another chapter in Kuromi’s life, and another learning experience for our not-quite-as-green animation runner. What has changed is that Animation Runner Kuromi 2 is much more focused, and characters like Hassaku and the key animators are relegated to afterthoughts. Where the first Kuromi introduced the cast, Kuromi 2 strengthened the relationship between Shihonmatsu (only natural, since she was the character given the most backstory in the first installment) and Kuromi. The new main character, Takashimadaira, not only provides an actual antagonist, but is downright hilarious in terms of his mannerisms, particularly his… rather unique walking style. Rather than a sequel, which tends to be more loosely related, Kuromi 2 is more like the second episode in a hypothetical Animation Runner Kuromi OVA.

While Animation Runner Kuromi 2 is still quite amusing (particularly scenes with Shihonmatsu suffering from nicotine withdrawal), there is no longer such a direct emphasis on humour. Rather, director Daichi Akitarou seems to be sending some veiled messages regarding the quality vs. quantity issue, as well as old school vs. new school animation. Art and animation are of the same high standard as the first Kuromi, and the soundtrack is essentially the same. Oh, and the poorly animated version of “Louis Monde III” is a laugh riot. Poor Lup- err… Louis.

Animation Runner Kuromi 2 takes the momentum created by Animation Runner Kuromi, and for the lack of a better term, runs with it. Kuromi 2 elaborates on the characters, maintains a decent level of comedy, and just enhances Daichi Akitarou’s reputation that much more. Here’s one viewer who for once, can’t wait for a trilogy.